Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
I'm a newly certified (PADI) diver. I completed my Open Water the first week of April. What a glorious new world to explore!
I had a bit of a problem with cramps in my feet and legs during the dives (<>80F degree water). I know my kick technique needs work, but what else can I do to minimize or eliminate the cramping? Also, any ideas you might share for leg conditioning exercises to strengthen the proper muscles during times I'm away from diving would be greatly appreciated.
Firts of all welcome to the underwater world as well as to the scubaboard world. I really hope that you will enjoy both of them.
As far as cramps are concerned I use to have the same problem in the past and taking extra Potassium(K) helped me out. The solution came out of a thread posted on the scubaboard that you might be able stil to find in the medicine section.
It is also a question of technique but I do not believe that improving it could make a big difference as long as your problem would be an internal defficit.
You can take K either as a medicine either in its natural form, by eating stuff that contains it (bananna)
I found out that only the tablets were efficient.
I just started diving about a year ago. One thing I've found that helps me avoid foot/leg cramps is that I now swim for exercise 2x per week in addition to my regular trips to the gym. This has helped me cut down on cramps significantly. I am about to start diving again now that spring has come to the US east coast -- in anticipation of this, I've included some laps with fins/booties on to help get my legs in better diving shape.
I hear you about using new muscles... This weekend I went out with my buddy on a couple of great dives with one hec of a lot of surface swimming... it seemed like miles . I am in decent shape & I go to the gym 6 days week (getting better all the time!). The next day my obliques, abs, & hip flexors fealt like they'd been to boot camp. The good thing is that now I know what to train and make stronger. I'm sure that it's different for everyone so once you identify it you can address it. I also eat at least one banana and drink a gallon of water every day... not just diving days.
when i first got my fins, which were very stiff, i got cramps in the feet the moment after 2 or 3 kicks.
what i find is that if you totally relax your ankles and concentrate on using only your thigh muscles to do the work, things should be find. thigh muscles are pretty big and can do much more than your calves and feet, so, might as well transfer the strain there and relax the other muscles instead.
Thanks to all who responded. I'm glad to know that the problem with the cramps is something that has been faced and overcome by others.
I'll certainly use the great advice as I'm getting ready for my next dive trip (reef diving in Hawaii, off Kauai in June). Raising my hydration level, adding potassium, conditioning exercises and the technique hints of keeping my legs more straight and relaxing my ankles... all GOOD STUFF!!
What I'm using are split-style fins. I think I'll try them in the swimming pool at the gym and see if changing the tightness on the straps will help. I'm not sure how to judge what 'proper fit' is. I was told by a couple of people (Instructors) that they looked a bit big for me... but the Diveshop guy said they looked OK.
... and Doc, I'm betting that if they had thought of it some of them *would* have used SCUBA to get off that island!! Well, maybe not the 'other Ginger'... she wouldn't have wanted her hair done up all mermaid-ish
Thanks again for your responses. I look forward to participating more in the forums and learning much, much more about diving.
Ginger, I'd listen to the instructor about the fit of your fins instead of the dive shop guy. Fitting fins are kinda hard to explain but I'll try. I also use split fins and they do have a foot pocket that is a bit wider than some blade fins. Your heel should hang over the back of the fin only about 1 1/2 to 2 inches with your foot all the way into the pocket. Remember, too, that when in the water your wet booties will allow your foot to got even farther into the foot pocket of the fins than it will when everything is dry. This difference in wet/dry fit is one reason lot of people buy a larger fin when they really don't need to.
In the water, you should be able to 'shake' your foot side to side and feel just a little bit of slack space. This is OK. You should not feel any restriction on the top of your foot, across your arch. Just a snug feeling. You need that extra room to allow for the flexing of your foot as you make your fins strokes.
With split fins you will need to use a shorter kick style, using your ankles more than with blade fins. Shorter, faster kick strokes is where the power of split fins come from. If you try to use a larger kick, like youdo with blade fins, you'll overpower the fins and get little out of them.